Am interested in learning more about student publishing. Is there a list of courses where students are publishing their work instead of just turning them into their TA and professor?

  • 4
    In the U.S., it would be legally problematic to make publishing anything a requirement to pass a class. Can't imagine a professor who would go there. However, some professors assign writing on Wikipedia, either as voluntary, extra credit-type assignments (to avoid the legal issues I mentioned) or in such a way that the writing is required but the publishing is optional. I have done this myself, and discussed it on another answer here at some point - will try to find the link later and post it here.
    – Dan Romik
    Jan 18, 2017 at 23:00
  • Are you asking about publishing something akin to research? If so, most professors who encourage it still require everything be turned in to them as an assignment, but then also encourage interested students to extend into publishable research if they are so inclined.
    – BrianH
    Jan 18, 2017 at 23:46
  • 2
    It mathematics it often takes over 1 year to publish an article...
    – Nick S
    Jan 19, 2017 at 0:29
  • Here is the link to the question I mentioned discussing Wikipedia writing assignments.
    – Dan Romik
    Jan 19, 2017 at 2:30
  • @DanRomik While I agree that it's a bad idea, I'm curious what legal problems you think a publication requirement would create.
    – JeffE
    Jan 19, 2017 at 3:35

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer: As I've only been a graduate student at the university I'm currently attending (USA) I can only comment on my individual experience at this university in my particular field (computer science) and the classes that accompany it.

Experience: I have a publication currently accepted that is the direct result of a course I took.

Throughout my time as a graduate student I've observed several class formats as far as expected work goes, typically involving some combination of homework, exams, and projects. Those involving projects, particularly when greater emphasis is placed on the project, are those rife with opportunity for publication. An additional indication of this is if the faculty member is teaching the project-based course in his/her area of research.

If your intent is to take a class with the hope of turning your work into a publication I would recommend taking a course where the above align (project-emphasized course work being taught by a faculty member whose research area is the same as that of the topic being taught). Additionally, I would recommend:

1) Choosing a class that aligns with your own interests and research.

2) Speak with the professor prior to the start of the class about your intention of turning the project into a publication. The professor should be able to comment on whether their project is a good opportunity for such an endeavor and perhaps be able to provide you with advice on how to be successful in completing the project and turning it into a publication.

3) In discussing with the class instructor, it would also be a good idea to discuss project expectations, particularly as they relate to (a) working with other class members and (b) the criteria that will be used to grade your work. Regarding (a), not all class members may be interested in going the extra mile to turn a project into a publication. Having this discussion with the professor up front will mitigate the chance of encountering "snags" related to this (e.g., you be given an exception to work on the project by yourself). Regarding (b), the criteria used to grade your project may be slightly different than what it takes to make a publication. Granted your intent, and what will almost certainly entail a greater amount of work, some leeway may be granted to you if tasks to create a publication and those needed to earn full marks on the project don't line up entirely. This, of course, depends on the instructor.

4) Getting [at least] some preliminary idea of the course material and ongoing research in the area of the topic of the course, prior to its start, will help. Furthermore, having some project idea (i.e., research idea) in mind, would be ideal. This can also be discussed with the professor.

I'm sure there are points and recommendation that could be made here, as well as other scenarios, which may vary by field and university, but for me, in my own unique experience, these were the highlights that led to my course-based publication. Best of luck!


Although this might not be exactly what you are looking for, I recently learned that a course at my institution publishes student work in a free online journal, found here.

Certainly, publication in this format does not have the same prestige or distribution of a typical journal, but the studies are original even if they are not ground breaking. The works are reviewed by several faculty members and give the students an opportunity to produce a professionally formatted research paper, and give them a citation they can use to demonstrate their research/writing ability as they move forward in their careers.

Personally, I think this sort of approach is excellent experience for undergraduates. I don't think the level of work that you can expect students to put into a course could ever be expected to result in a publication in a mainstream journal (in a large enough sample size there could be exceptions, of course), though work produced in a course could certainly motivate a project that is publishable in the future after appropriate elaboration.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the course I link to, though I am an employee at the university.

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